City Lights: Urban Space and Civic Identity in the Low Countries and Beyond, 8-9 July 2021

The Association for Low Countries Studies are delighted to announce our third postgraduate colloquium, “City Lights”, which takes place online on 8-9 July 2021.

The colloquium brings together young scholars from the UK and internationally to explore urban space and civic identity in Benelux from an interdisciplinary perspective. Registration is free of charge via Eventbrite.

The Low Countries is one of the world’s most urbanised regions. Since the Middle Ages, advances in mercantilism, industry and land reclamation had spurred Bruges, Antwerp and Amsterdam toward exponential growth. Meanwhile, claims to political autonomy and religious freedom caused tension with the powers that be, erupting most violently during the Eighty Years’ War (1568-1648). Today, many Netherlandish cities retain a unique sense of identity, manifested in dialects, local legends and civic buildings.

The diverse and wide-ranging programme features panels on sense and the city, the early modern book trade, the built environment, urban politics and modern times. Day two will include a virtual “show and tell” event showcasing Dutch language collections in the Universal Short Title Catalogue and the British Library. To conclude, we look forward to welcoming our keynote, Elisabeth de Bièvre, author of Dutch Art and Urban Cultures, 1200-1700 (Yale University Press, 2015).

Full conference programme also on the Eventbrite site

The Language Show: Why Study Dutch

Why study Dutch?

Interactive talk as part of the Language Show
14 November, 15.30
online and free

In this interactive talk,  Kris Van de Poel, Secretary General of the Dutch Language Union (Taalunie), will explore some of the remarkable features of the Dutch language. She will also take a closer look at the diversity of people speaking Dutch as their first language, spread over four countries and two continents. Finally, you will encounter some of the remarkable cultural products producted in Dutch.

Kris van de Poel will demonstrate that Dutch is an accessible Germanic language that unlocks the rich cultures of the Low Countries and beyond.



Workshop for Tutors of Dutch in the UK and Ireland

Teaching Dutch to audiences in the UK and Ireland
20-21 November 2020
0nline event

This autumn, the Association for Low Countries Studies ( ALCS ) is organising its first Language Teacher  Workshop. The workshop will be delivered online and is open to all teachers of Dutch in adult education in the UK, Ireland and beyond. This event and is generously sponsored by our long-term partner the Nederlandse Taalunie.

The programme varies from sessions on vocabulary and learning psychology, creating learning communities online, to personal language journeys and the sense and nonsense of grammar teaching. There will also be a virtual borrel with our 2020 Taalunie Writer in Residence Niña Weijers. And of course there will be plenty of opportunity to meet colleagues and exchange ideas.

Do join us!

The workshop is free and we are very much looking forward to bringing together the UK and
Ireland’s Dutch language tutors.  We often work on our own and don’t have ready access to colleagues to exchange ideas and expereinces. This two-day workshop want to connect and infrom.

Please spread the word and enrol here.

Our ProgrammeTeacher Workshop December 20202

If you cannot make this event, but would like to be kept informed about future events for language tutors, let us know here.

logo taalunieworkshop

Updates and news

Due to Covid-19, the 2020 ALCS Postgraduate Colloquium ‘City Lights’ won’t take place in July 2020 and will be postponed to a later date.

Students are still warmly invited to submit their Low Countries essays and (short) dissertations for the annual ALCS essay prizesThe deadline has been extended to 30 June 2020.


Fikry El Azzouzi, gastschrijver 2020
Fikry El Azzouzi, gastschrijver 2020
  • The beginning of the lockdown coincided with the final video conference of our annual collaborative Translation project. We were well prepared, as this project is conducted virtually in any case, with students from the universities off Sheffield, Nottingham and UCL joining forces to translate a previously untranslated text. The only difference was that our translators (Jonathan Reeder and Alice Tetley-Jones) and writer (Fikry El Azzouzi) were not physically with us in either location. A full report can be found on the pages of Flanders Literature. Many thanks to our sponsors from the Taalunie for their ongoing support!
  • New Dutch Writing moved their series of events showcasing Dutch Literature in translation online. The first event, Tommy Wieringa in conversation with his translator Sam Garrett, chaired by Suzy Feah was broadcast live and can still be accessed via youtube. second interview in this series was  with Charlotte van den Broeck and her translator David Colmer on the 27th of May on the same platform.
  • Sheffield colleagues and the Centre for Dutch and Flemish Studies  organised their first virtual research seminar with VUB historical sociolinguist Wim Vandenbussche, which was attended by colleagues from across the UK and further afield. This clearly shows that our new virtual ways of working open up collaborative opportunities!

13th Biennial Conference 2019

Schermafbeelding 2020-01-14 om 20.09.04
The 13th ALCS International Conference took place at UCL from 6 to 8 November 2019.

We welcomed over 70 colleagues from across Europe and a sizeable contingent from the US, resulting in 15 panel sessions, 42 papers, as well as four keynotes that were open to a wider audience and shed a light on Worlding the Low Countries from the perspective of history, literature, culture and translation. You can find the full conference programme here.

This year’s keynote speakers were Dagomar Degroot (Georgetown University), Saskia Pieterse (Utrecht University), Theo Hermans (UCL) and Bambi Ceuppens (Africa Museum Brussels).

Click and listen to Dagomar Degroot’s keynote on the Frigid Golden Age

We are very grateful to Flanders House for their very warm reception and exceptional conference dinner, to the Taalunie for their continuous and generous support, and to the Dutch Centre for the collaboration with their film festival.

Schermafbeelding 2019-10-09 om 12.46.22